Chelsea chief supports Benitez

Chelsea club secretary David Barnard believes Rafa Benitez deserves more credit for his success in cup competitions this season.

Last Updated: 12/04/13 at 15:50 Post Comment

Rafa Benitez: Praised by Chelsea club secretary David Barnard

Rafa Benitez: Praised by Chelsea club secretary David Barnard

The Blues reached the semi-finals of the Europa League on Thursday and they face Manchester City this weekend in the last four of the FA Cup at Wembley having already reached the semi-finals of the Capital One Cup this term.

Benitez's side have been drawn against Swiss outfit Basel in the semi-finals of the Europa League as they look to follow up last season's Champions League success with another European trophy.

The Spaniard has come under fire for some of his team selections as he tries to juggle the cup competitions with the race to finish in the top four of the Premier League and Barnard feels Benitez deserves praise for what he has done so far at Stamford Bridge.

"Credit must go to Rafa," Barnard told Sky Sports News. "Some people have actually criticised some of his team selections, but to be actually in two semi-finals then he must be doing something right."

Barnard admitted Basel were the team they were hoping to draw in the semi-finals of the Europa League despite the Swiss side showing their worth by knocking out Tottenham in the quarter-finals.

"I think before the draw was made we would have hoped for Basel having known both Benfica and Fenerbahce, but then Basel have just put out our colleagues from the Premier League Tottenham and were responsible last season for Manchester United not getting through the group stage [in the Champions League] so it is going to be a tough game."

Barnard is hoping Chelsea can create a bit of history by becoming the first English team to win all three European trophies having already won the European Cup and the European Cup Winners' Cup in the past.

He continued: "If we were to do that it would be there in tablets of stone and cannot be changed and if we play in the final of the Europa League final we will still be holders of the Champions League so we could be holders of both trophies at the same time."

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e have the personnel. The trick is keeping them fit. Carrick and Blind have missed large chunks of the season, while the defence has been one muddled mess of intermittent stooges, all coming and going at various intervals thus far. We may be just short of title winning quality, but we're half way through. An injury crisis to either of the top two could change things. Optimistic, yes, but not unrealistic.

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arish is the man to blame for this shambles. Pulis must be chuckling into his left over turkey sandwich. I pray this doesn't mean the Neil Warnock media machine will kick in now and he'll be back on the telly box.

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e almost found a new way to lose, just when I thought it was getting boring Giroud does that. Although Arsenal are deservedly called 'soft' the entire midfield is out injured. Still must admit MU are managing to win despite a similar raft of absentees. Think the Gunners have good players but poorly coached.

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